The Internal Revenue Service has returned to offering videos to help taxpayers cope with tax season, while avoiding the spoofs of old TV series like Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island that landed IRS officials in hot water last year.
The IRS is providing short videos on YouTube on several tax-related topics in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. The channels have received nearly 6.5 million views:
Some of the videos that taxpayers can watch to help them get ready over the coming weeks include:
Do-It-Yourself Free Tax Preparation - Helps taxpayers find free help from certified volunteers to electronically file tax returns. Taxpayers interested in helping their own communities can also watch a video to learn about becoming involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
Do I Have to File a Tax Return? - Learn about the requirements for filing a tax return, including income limits and age, and why taxpayers may want to file even if they don't have to.
How to Get 1040 Forms - Provides tips on the quickest way to get the various 1040 forms on IRS.gov.
Tax Scams - Offers some tips on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a tax scam victim.
Record-keeping - Learn which financial and tax files to keep and how long to keep them.
Changed Your Name After Marriage or Divorce? - Find out what you need to do if you have changed your name before you file your tax return.
Choosing a Tax Preparer - Hear some useful tips for choosing a reputable tax preparer.
In addition to video sites like YouTube, the IRS is also making more use of social media sites to share the latest information on tax changes, initiatives, products and services. The IRS’s social media venues include Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. To protect taxpayer privacy, the IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. It advises taxpayers to never post confidential information, such as a Social Security number, on social media sites. A listing of social media and other platforms for the IRS is available on IRS.gov.